Zoe Elle Co: How are you staying positive & productive during these times (i.e. during the Black Lives Matter Movement and COVID-19)?

Annabel: Journaling. I’ve kept a journal for the last two years. Before COVID-19, I’d enter my thoughts and feelings and sometimes a recap of my day. There’s so much going on in the world right now and instead of that, I’ve turned it into a gratitude journal. Every day, I would write down five things I’m grateful for – it could be anything from the weather to the healthy meal I had, to even a customer that made my day.  When I focus on the positive, I worry less about the negative and put my energy to better use.

Yoga and Meditation: My business, Seventh & Oak actually started when I made the decision to start living more intentionally. That involved being aware of what I brought into my space, and how I took care of my health. When I was working on our launch collection, my goal was to make candles specifically for self care enthusiasts.

Yoga for me is the time I have to myself, to be quiet and listen to myself + my body. Burning a candle while practicing puts my mind more at ease as I set my intentions for the rest of the day.




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I just launched a business! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⤫ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ After months and months of planning, testing, failing, testing and more testing – I’m so happy to share that my baby @seventhandoak is now open for business! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Seventh & Oak is a handmade home fragrance and home goods business with sustainability at the core. As a big advocate of sustainable living, I had to walk the talk with my business. I’m not going to go into all the details here because I want to keep my small business separate from my personal brand – visit the shop site to read more about our story, mission and the initiatives we’ve taken up as a small business to promote sustainability. ⤫ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m overwhelmed with all your support. From following the shop page, to sharing posts, signing up for the launch newsletter and even counting down with me. Thank you so so much! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To the ones closest to my heart @efe_mena01 @michelleokeya @kimberlyokeya @ms_nicollee you rock! Your constant support, love and feedback means the world to me ❤️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⤫ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Go check out the site at seventhandoak.com // or hit the link in my bio and tap ‘Shop’. I look forward to processing your orders ?

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[By] focusing on what matters. Since we launched less than two months ago, there has been an influx of support and we run out of products quicker than expected. I like to say that launching a business has been a blessing in disguise. Back in March, I was temporarily laid off from my full time job and I had nothing to fall back on. I decided to go ahead and put this candle business idea I had last November into action. I took the risk by launching it in the middle of a pandemic but it has never for one day felt like I made the wrong decision because of the support we’ve received so far. Waking up almost everyday and reading messages from my customers always put a smile on my face. My priority is to provide a unique experience to each of them because that’s how I’ll be able to grow as a small business owner. My customers matter because without them, my business would not exist.



Zoe Elle Co: How are you and/or your company giving back during these times and/or what advice can you give others wanting to give back?

Annabel: As a new business, we’re compiling a list of organizations to start donating to on a monthly basis. Specifically organizations that support the BLM movement and also those that prioritize sustainability as a way of living. Once we’ve reached out to these organizations, we’ll be sure to share the news on all our channels. We’ve been so fortunate since we launched and would love to donate a portion of our profits to support this initiative. For now, we’ve been partnering with other Canadian businesses for giveaways. We have committed to quite a few for the rest of July and August and are looking to partner with some other BIPOC owned businesses in the coming months. Personally, I have been supporting my local community, as well as other BIPOC owned businesses by purchasing their products or services. That’s one thing I’ve loved since the BLM movement really took off this year (being able to discover some amazing business I wouldn’t have otherwise known about). If you’re a customer and have some money to spend, look outside of your go-to brands and consider buying from a BIPOC brand instead. You can also show your support by engaging with their accounts on social media or sharing their posts. It may not seem like much but it goes a long way. If you’re a small business, be clear on what causes you care about and donate to these organizations. Show your customers that you appreciate them by organizing online activities and involving them. Building a strong community is key these days because they would be your advocates when you’re not in the room.